All officers begin their careers in patrol. While many officers choose to remain in patrol, others choose to test for promotable positions or for positions in specialized units after a few years on patrol. Patrol is the primary provider of police services to the community and is considered the backbone of the department.
Patrol officers investigate crimes, make arrests, patrol communities to make them safer, work with the community to solve problems, conduct community meetings, mediate disputes, investigate traffic collisions and provide general police services.
There are over 20 different specialized units within the department. While most investigations begin at the patrol level, there comes a point where specialized units such as SWAT, motors, K-9, problem solving unit, gang unit, bike patrol, criminal apprehension team, joint terrorism task force, fugitive task force, ARMOR, and VIPER will take over investigations. There are also positions of public information officer, recruiting and several other specialized units.
Detectives conduct specialized or generalized follow-up investigative work. Officers may apply for detective after a minimum of five years as an officer. Examples of detective investigations include juvenile delinquency, crimes against juveniles, fraud, sexual assault, burglary, robbery, homicide and other crimes felonious crimes.
Most sergeants serve as patrol supervisors. There are also administrative and specialized units and assignments for sergeants. A minimum of five years experience as a officer and/or detective is required to apply for promotion to sergeant.